Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty Can Keep Two Dead Pets

A court has ruled that a Massachusetts woman convicted of animal cruelty can keep a dead dog and cat, as long as she complies with health codes.

Heidi Erickson was charged in May 2005 with animal cruelty to five cats and a dog. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the cruelty to cats and 90 days for cruelty to the dog.

During her pending case, a judge ordered that her six pets be returned to her. During that time, four cats were living, while one cat and the dog were dead.

The city of Boston challenged the judge’s order, and after Erickson was convicted, the city forgo its challenge the order to return her living animals to Erickson, but continued to challenge the order of returning the dead animals to her.

In 2005, a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Erickson could keep her dead animals if she arranged for the “prompt and proper disposal” of them “in compliance with health codes.”

She appealed the ruling saying that she should not be forced to dispose of her pets.

On Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the ruling in 2005 meant that she does not have to discard or destroy the animals, but “that whatever she does with them, including keeping them, she must comply with all applicable health codes.”

Erickson said that she is innocent of the animal cruelty charges and she has filed an appeal of her case.

Source: Boston Globe

11 Responses to “Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty Can Keep Two Dead Pets”

  1. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    So basically, the city of Boston was willing to return the living animals to Ms Erickson after her conviction, but wanted to keep the dead ones away from her??

    That makes no sense at all, at least not to us.

  2. stefani says:


  3. kaefamily says:

    How was she cruel to the animals? What did she do? There are too many missing details to this story.

  4. Lynn says:

    Here is some insight to the story:



  5. mittens says:

    we’re not known for our particularly brilliant judges around here….they’re about as insane as this woman, who has a history of animal cruelty and neglect and of filing frivolous lawsuits.

    the woman has a long history of pet hoarding in boston- and of hoarding their dead bodies. the cats had among other things ringworm and were not being given proper medical care nor proper care whatsoever. she’s prohibited from owning pets if she lives in boston so she moved to watertown, a suburb, and began hoarding again.

    that the supreme court in this state is hearing cases brought by someone who is completely unhinged over dead cat bodies boggles the imagination.

  6. Lynn says:

    Sometimes it’s pretty unsettling to hear about the stupid complants the courts have to deal with.

  7. Sharon says:

    The court needs to commit her. To let her keep animals, dead or alive, proves the judge is as crazy as the lady is.

  8. Poodlluver says:

    Very WEIRD story. (AND lady)

  9. Pam says:

    Yep. it’s hard to tell which is worse (and weirder)–the fact that the Supreme Court heard this case and remanded the “dead pets” back to the woman, or the woman who sued to get the “dead pets” back. Since this woman has a history of hoarding animals, I just gotta wonder why the court doesn’t take that into consideration and prohibit her from having any pets, instead of feeding into her sickness.

    I’m just sad for the dogs and cats. Wonder how these poor creatures met their demise?

  10. The Lioness says:

    Cripes. That this woman should not be allowed to ever have pets again should be a no-brainer. What a bunch of morons these court personnel are!

    This lady needs a guardian of her own. She’s a menace!

    Those poor animals. :(

    ~The Lioness

  11. Michelle says:

    I am completely shocked and appalled that the court would let her keep ANY animals, dead OR alive in the first place. And the fact that she insists to keep her DEAD dog and cat is utterly weird and disgusting. These pets should be given a proper burial, AWAY from this crazy lady. Gosh, people nowadays just make me sick to my stomach.

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